The Obsolete Format of Media and Identity

Nick Gentry is part of a generation that grew up surrounded by obsolete media formats such as floppy disks, VHS tapes, polaroids and cassettes. Using these expired disk formats as the canvas for his portraits, Gentry helps the viewer identify with the consumable nature of culture, the recorded history of society and individuals, and at the very core, the impermanence of our identity.

5 Of A Kind

Mother, Queen of Hearts, and Three Queens make this selection of Mark Sarmel’s work “5 Of A Kind.” His style, however, is one of a kind. Sarmel muses with portraits of futuristic women that quietly exude an ancestral lineage and are beautiful in every way and in every era. The Three Queens represent the queens from the three tribes of Azteca, but don headdresses with a technological design aesthetic. Beneath the surface beauty of the Three Queens is there an evil so deep that would allow the alleged human sacrifice, and cannibalism within the Aztec culture?

Sarmel values honesty, passion and a sense of humor and these virtues are evident in his work. Sarmel admits that he is a daydreamer, but stays up late and gets things done. His work has appeared in print and on-line in places such as Empty, Semi-Permanent, Faestehetic, and Society of Illustrators.

All images courtesy and copyrighted by  Mark Sarmel on Flickr

Evil Villains and Super Heros

Agan Harahap claims that he is a wildlife photographer. There is very little known about him beyond this. He also claims that he loves history, which is evident in his “Super Hero” collection.

“I sell forms and colors for a living”

That’s what New York City based artist, designer and technologist, Joshua Davis says about himself on twitter. But he’s selling his bio a little short. Davis uses unprecedented techniques and creates work that is 100% original. Davis’ work is inconceivably intricate and unique. So much so, that a highly trained craftsman or programmer couldn’t re-engineer his designs no matter how hard they tried – Davis’ artwork is the digital equivalent of a snowflake.

In order to create work at this caliber, Davis pioneered an art making process known as “Dynamic Abstraction,” which generates artwork from Flash-based computer programs. Davis writes these computer programs based in Chaos Theory, which then execute random patterns of his hand drawn artwork. Davis calls this process, “Computational Design,” and he names his body of work “Tropism,” which is defined as the innate tendency of living organisms to move or grow without cognitive thought.

One of the biggest artistic influences for Davis is Jackson Pollock. Davis said, “I like Jackson Pollock. I don’t necessarily like his work, but I like Pollock as an idea.” The resonating idea is that Pollock’s paintings aren’t derived from a concept nor deliberate control of the paint or brush. Pollock (and Davis) initiate and “own” the finished work that they create, but the artists are only vehicles for the chance and movement that they cannot control.

“Tropism” at it’s best.

Following Pollock’s example, Davis loses control when he makes his art. In return, both artists make original, unrepeatable pieces. Davis’ computational design programs are randomized and unencumbered with very little restrictions, so the programs generate visual products of pure chance. Pollock’s fortuitous paintings are also produced by unplanned movements with limited controls such as the canvas frame, media, pigment color, and time duration.

When making artwork, Davis plays three roles – “the programmer, the designer, and the critic.” The critic, he says is the hard part because he’ll sometimes run a program 300-500 times before arriving at the result he wants. He mentioned running a program for 2 weeks before he saw the perfectly rendered design of his liking – a final result that “suspends chaos in a state of harmony… like waiting for that beautiful accident.”

Apple describes Davis as Infinitely Interesting and “abduzeedo’s blog” names him as a design legend. Follow Joshua Davis on

Twitter @joshuadavis or check him out on Flickr.